And that's the end of that.
As I'm sure you are all aware, Pats Pulpit has pretty much been Aaron Hernandez Central over the past week as all of this madness unfolded. Needless to say, following a murder investigation wasn't on anybody's to-do list this year, and so it's kind of thrown off what was supposed to be a fun, light-hearted couple of weeks on the site as we all take some time to unwind, enjoy the summer, and gear up for training camp. Unfortunately, we haven't really had the opportunity to do any of that just yet, courtesy of a certain idiot who has chosen to throw his life away. However, now that (as Patriots fans at least) we can officially close the book on the Aaron Hernandez era in New England, I know I'm looking forward to getting things back to normal around here. So starting next week, it will be back to business as usual for me. Back to listing Top Patriots Moments, absurd predictions for 2013, and any other nonsense that comes to my juvenile mind over the next few weeks. That' what the offseason is all about, and I for one can't wait to get back to that.
I will say this in closing, though: I'd be lying if I said I wasn't upset and disappointed by how all of this ended. Hernandez was an extremely talented player, a lot of fun to watch, and was supposed to represent the future of the franchise. However, all that is gone now. A promising career and future down the drain. And while Hernandez may very well beat these charges and return to the NFL, it isn't going to be as a Patriot. And simply put, that just plain sucks. But as much as all of this stings, I once again find myself extremely, extremely proud to be a fan of the New England Patriots. You can bash them, hate them, and trash them all you want, but the way they have handled this situation has been absolutely fantastic. I don't know how many teams would release a player as talented as Hernandez before all of the dust had settled, and I don't know how many teams would place honor and integrity over skill. Some teams don't care if you are a thug, degenerate, or waste of space, but that just isn't my team. Some teams will always put talent over temperament, but that just isn't my team. And some teams will talk the talk but won't walk the walk, but that just isn't my team. Maybe that's me looking at this through my blatant Patriots apologist glasses here, but right now I couldn't be happier with how my team has dealt with all of this. As always, more than ever, proud to be a Patriots fan.
I'm going to continue to monitor the Hernandez situation, but it will be more out of my own morbid curiosity than anything else. The team is moving on, and so am I.